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  • State of Arkansas Crappie Fishing - by Brad Wiegmann

    The ruling has been sent down. Arkansas has been convicted of being blessed with an abundant crappie population in river, ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Anglers everywhere in Arkansas have been sentenced to life with many years of great fishing.



    The favorable judgment is a direct result of everyone working together to accomplish the end results of catching crappie. Naming every one or agency would take too long, but those of you responsible know who you are.

    “The current crappie management plan in Arkansas is proactive,” noted Matt Schroeder, fishery management biologist for the state of Arkansas.

    Currently, Arkansas utilizes large nursery ponds and hatchery systems across the state to raise crappie to be stocked.

    Crappie populations are dynamic in nature and each river, pond, lake or reservoir unique with different habitat and forage available.



    When asked what his four favorite lakes to crappie fish in Arkansas were Schroeder said, “Conway, Lake Dardanelle, Harris Break and Nimrod.” Of course Schroeder also admitted he was biased in the selection because that these reservoirs are located within his district in central Arkansas.

    “They are really hidden gems throughout the state of Arkansas with good populations of crappie that don’t get the recognition as those lakes,” added Schroeder.

    Crappie stocking numbers 2012
    Black Crappie-1,588,544
    White Crappie-876,258
    Total Crappie Stocked=2,464,802

    Ron Duncan, expert crappie angler and appointed Commissioner on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, thrives on catching crappie on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas.

    The past couple months crappie fishing had been good on Beaver Lake, but all good things must come to an end sometime. This time it was ended by rain. Lots of rain that caused the lake to come up a foot in elevation quickly and river arms to turn muddy.

    “Right now we are dealing with the lake coming up and flooding brush and muddy water in the river arms of the lake. Crappie really don’t like moving to new brush right after it gets flooded,” explained Duncan.

    Duncan also noted that fishing for crappie and not being able to see all the cover was challenging since the water level had risen.

    “It’s like finding a needle in a hay stack. The crappie scatter and there are just too many choices to make when fishing for them,” pointed out Duncan.

    His solution to rising, muddy water was moving down lake to where the water clarity was clearer. “On Beaver Lake, I will start fishing the middle section of the lake more. Key locations for me are the nursery pond area or Ventris creek arm. These areas have lots of crappie in them; in fact, some of the crappie in that area are rasied in that nursery pond adjacent to the lake,” said Duncan.

    During this upcoming month, Duncan will catch crappie on channel bends that have laydowns in the water. He is fishing mostly isolated laydowns extending out of the banks in 15- to 25-feet of water. “The clearer the water clarity is, the deeper the crappie will be,” revealed Duncan.

    Some of the areas will have several lay downs, but sometimes it just an isolated laydown by itself that produces several crappie.

    Lure selection for Duncan depends on what type of cover he is fishing. Normally, he fishes with a 1/32-ounce weedless jig head rigged with a Bobby Garland Crappie Bait tube around brush, lay downs and cover. Around isolated trees, Duncan fishes with a Road Runner because it’s less likely to get hung up in the trees.

    Color selection depends on water clarity for Duncan. If the water clarity is limited he will fish a black/chartreuse or red/chartreuse, but in clearer water clarity switch up to a blue/white Bobby Garland Crappie Bait tube. Duncan’s favorite color for his Road Runners is white/white.

    Overall, the crappie fishing in Arkansas continues to prosper as the state agencies work together to ensure healthy crappie populations, regulations and stocking programs.

    Bio
    Governor Mike Beebe named Ron Duncan of Springdale to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
    Duncan started a fishing club in 1982 at Springdale Central Junior High School, where he was a civics teacher. Based on the simple idea of introducing kids to fishing, the club inspired a national initiative known as “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” program. That program has produced thousands of similar clubs nationwide. HOFNOD, as the program is known, also is administered by AGFC.
    Inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2004, Duncan has twice been honored as the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society Man of the Year and was the National Wildlife Federation Educator of the Year in 1999. Through the fishing clubs he’s championed, Duncan has worked closely with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s education and fisheries divisions.
    A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Duncan joined the Springdale School District in 1974.
    Duncan’s term expires July 1, 2015.



    The Commission consists of seven Arkansans appointed by the governor to seven-year terms. An eighth, non-voting, member sits as Chair of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville’s Department of Biology. It is the sole responsibility of the Commission to oversee the agency’s function as a wildlife management entity.
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Lotech Joe's Avatar
      Lotech Joe -
      I truly wish that Washington State was as proactive as far as crappies. Kudos to the AGFC.
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      Excellent write up/article.
    1. boatdocksam's Avatar
      boatdocksam -
      good read
    1. jackie53's Avatar
      jackie53 -
      "WOW" Thanks!!! We in arkansas sure are blessed!!!
    1. specktacklure's Avatar
      specktacklure -
      Arkansas sounds like a great place to be, only if I could survive a winter
    1. NYHellbender's Avatar
      NYHellbender -
      Thanks for the post and as allways Great pictures.
    1. ronetone's Avatar
      ronetone -
      great read, why does the black crappie have almost twice stocking number of white crappie?
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      great read
    1. Hook One's Avatar
      Hook One -
      Sounds like a very good sentence to me.
    1. katiebell's Avatar
      katiebell -
      Thanks for the article, good read!
    1. McCrappie's Avatar
      McCrappie -
      Yes we do
    1. Cmj's Avatar
      Cmj -
      Yep, we are definitely blessed.
    1. jordy1380's Avatar
      jordy1380 -
      Nice catches!
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